This weekend, I took part in the Incite Color Of Violence 4 Conference, which was held here in Chicago. It was a pretty powerful experience, and I'll be writing about it for a little while, I think, to process. But to give you an idea of the space and the work I was a part of, I wanted to include the Healing Justice Practice Space principles that were a guiding force and energy behind the work:
"We begin by listening.
"We are people of color, indigenous people, disabled people, and survivors of trauma, many genders, ages and classes of people, and we are committed to leading the work of building healing justice at the AMC (Allied Media Conference.)
"We do this work to lift up and politicize the role of health and healing in our movements as a critical part of the new world we are building.
"We honor individual and community agency, intuition, and innate wisdom, and therefor honor people's rights to make decisions about their own bodies.
"We understand that health and wellness should be determined by the individual or community receiving care, and for many of us this includes the reality of disability, illness, and harm reduction. We accept and encourage individuals and communities defining health, healing, and wellness for themselves, and not based on normative models of healing.
"We center the genius and leadership of disabled and chronically ill communities, for what we know about surviving and resisting the medical industrial complex and living with fierce beauty in our sick and disabled bodies. We say no to the medical industrial complex's model of 'cure or be useless,' instead of working from a place of belief int he wholeness of disability, interdependence and disabled people as inherently good as we are.
"We live in countries that deny health care access to people based on economic and identity status, and we must build alternative structures for giving and receiving care that are grounded in community and ancestral traditions and in the values of consent and equality. The Healing Justice Practice Space is a part of that work.
"We believe that medicine is media, and we work with the understanding that how we heal ourselves is directly related to how we see and interpret ourselves and the possibility for transformation.
"We are aware that the body does not live forever, and that we honor death as a part of the cycle of life."